On Mother's Day, I can never find the right card.
Not for my mom -
There are a million sappy rhymes, but not so many that say "thank you for tearing yourself open from the inside out for me" -literally and metaphorically, ongoing. Not so many that say "thank you for giving me the hook in my nose that I am loving more every day because it is beautifully yours." Not so many that say "I wish I could go back and erase every obstacle you've faced but God has used them to craft you into this amazing person and I pray every day that my daughter grows up to be as fun and wise and elegant and generous as you."
You know. Those kinds of things.
And it's hard to find the right card for my mother-in-law - something along the lines of "thanks for giving me your son, with all the good qualities you prayed and laboured into him ... I daily reap the rewards of your hard work without even realizing it."
And I can't find the right card for my friends, sisters, sisters in law -
There just aren't a lot of cards that say "thanks for helping me realize I'm not the worst mom in the world if my kid maybe tried to eat a frozen dog poop." I haven't found one yet that says "thanks for sharing wipes and diapers when I show up to the park with poopy kids and a bag full of shrapnel that somehow doesn't include those two items." I'm still hunting for the one that says "I love you for hanging out with me even when I obviously haven't showered in days."
I haven't found a good card for my friends who are currently facing infertility, who long for the days when they might find themselves complaining about boogers on their shoulder and bags under their eyes from a week of no sleep. Who maybe feel alone in their struggle but aren't - not by a long shot. There aren't a lot of cards that say "hope you can get through this day with a minimum of heartache as you celebrate your own mom without bursting into tears in public (but it's totally okay if you do!)."
I haven't found a good card for the mother whose selfless love made me a mother. I'd like to find one that might say "thank you for nourishing that baby with your heart and soul and mind and strength and then giving him to me and I love him with everything I've got. I am trying hard to raise him well in gratitude to you and God but I feel woefully inadequate every day."
I haven't found a good card for Patrick, because they seem to save the dad cards for Father's Day. I'd really like to give him one that says "thank you for enabling me to be a functioning mother, instead of an exhausted bag of stale air. Thank you for working your butt off every day so that my mothering isn't just survival, but joy." And even that wouldn't cut it.
I haven't found a good card for my aunts, who love me with that unconscious bias and goodwill that makes being in a family so cozy.
I haven't found a good card for my best friend's mom, my other mother, who raised my heart-sister and loved me through my unlovable teens.
To all the women who have mothered me - to the friends who mother alongside me - and to the people who have made me mother:
Thank you. I'm trying hard to live up to your examples ... thank you for your grace and commiseration when I fail. I love you all so much.
PS Sorry I didn't send you a real card. I went to the store with three kids last Friday at 430pm ... not only was it impossible to find the right one, but I probably scared away the other shoppers with my traveling circus and scary-mom-voice and they didn't send you one either.